Colleges switching to bigger conferences for almighty dollar
Last updated 7/12/2022 at 2:28pm
The idea of football teams leaving the conference they have played football in for decades to join the two main "super-conferences" like the Southeastern Conference or the Big Ten came about after the Supreme Court's 1984 antitrust ruling in the case of NCAA vs. Oklahoma's Board of Regents.
This ruling stripped the NCAA of its ability to regulate college football's TV contracts and team appearances on the air, according to an article in Sunday's edition of the Washington Post and was intended to be a corrective to the NCAA's overbearing exercise of its powers.
"But the problem with it is that it failed to recognize there is a legitimate state regulatory interest in curbing the excess profiteering of athletic department scoundrels who are simply using the kids for skim," the article points out.
The big football schools wanted to end the idea that they should have to split airtime and media profits with a bunch of smaller colleges.
Even back then, the regents at the larger prominent schools were talking about forming a single "super-conference" that would compete solely against teams of its same talent caliber and brush aside the smaller schools and not have to share the profits with them. They've been trying to get this done for several decades.
And now with Texas and Oklahoma slipping away from the Big 12 and joining the SEC and UCLA and Southern Cal suddenly deciding to leave the Pac 12 for the Big Ten, this wish of the most prominent schools of both conferences are going where the big money will be available to them.
And with these four teams leaving their respective conferences, the future fate of the Big 12 and the Pac 12 is up in the air. The fan interest and more importantly the dollars will definitely drop if these two conferences can even survive.
There is fear that both of the conferences could end up "in the dustpan of history" and join the Southwest Conference after the Big 8 plucked Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor and carried on as the Big 12, according to the Associated Press Sunday. The four remaining SWC members found new homes in less-prominent conferences.
The article points out that Washington and Oregon could soon follow USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, which has become a 16-school super-conference stretching from coast to coast. The Big 12 also is eyeing Washington and Oregon along with other less prominent members of the Pac 12-Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado.
"Pac 12 academic powerhouses Stanford and California-Berkeley may have to decide whether to downgrade their football programs rather than join de facto pro leagues, especially in the wild, wild world of name, image and likeness," the article stated.
There's a huge chance that Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse Clemson will fill a long-time wish by joining the SEC along with Florida State, although the Seminoles football program has recently fallen on hard times, the article added.
"If the Big Ten wants to expand even more, North Carolina (perhaps in tandem with Duke), Virginia and Georgia Tech are potential targets," the article revealed.
Those teams fortunate to get invited to the two super-conferences should get much richer while those depleted conferences could proceed much in the same fashion as the defunct SWC.
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